Tumour hypoxia is associated with poor survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLC). There is an urgent unmet need to develop non-invasive biomarkers that can detect and track changes in tumour hypoxia. Imaging biomarkers are attractive as candidates for the assessment of tumour hypoxia due to limited tissue material in radiotherapy-treated NSCLC patients.
Recently, a clinical first-in-human study, led by Professor James O’Connor at University of Manchester, demonstrated that oxygen-enhanced MRI (OE-MRI) biomarkers can be used to detect tumour hypoxia and monitor changes in hypoxia in response to treatment. 1
The NCITA Exemplar 5 study will develop the feasibility of OE-MRI across different platforms and field strengths as well as determining multicentre repeatability of the biomarkers. Next, we will evaluate the role of OE-MRI in adaptive radiotherapy planning in non-small cell lung cancer patients. The study will be centred at Manchester and UCL, before being opened up to other sites.